And the chairs go up on the tables by 10

There are many advantages to living in the suburbs. It is a wonderful place to raise a family, you can have a garden, it is safe and clean.

But there is one thing about living here that I have never gotten used to. We eat late at home. And when we go out we like to linger. Sadly, the restaurants clear out by 10PM. On the weekends maybe you can stretch it to 10:30. And then the staff starts to get restless. In an awkward and uncomfortable sort of way. ‘Um waiter, could you not put on you coat just yet? If you hadn’t noticed, we are still dining here!’

This happens to the First Thursdays all the time. Many times we have watched as they put the chairs up on the tables around us. It drives me nuts.

Last night we reached new depths of being the last ones out. First we watched as the wait staff paraded past us carrying piles of table linens into the kitchen. I felt like it was laundry day at camp. Something tells me that the Culinary Institute does not teach this as part of their curriculum on customer relations. 

Then, the valet parking guy came in and starting handing out keys. I am not sure if this has every happened before, but it was surely not all that endearing.

I have good friends who are chefs. I don’t remember this every going on in their restaurants. Even the suburban ones. Jeff, you never did this, did you?

What next, are they going to shut the lights? Come to think of it, they might have turned off the AC around 10.

Then again, at a table of menopausal women after a few bottles of wine, it was hard to tell.

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Filed under humor

7 responses to “And the chairs go up on the tables by 10

  1. It happens here too.Was once at an Indian restaurant where they not only cleaned around us but actually but the lights up too (do I hear “last call?”). I certainly wouldn’t mess with a table of menopausal women who’ve been drinking!

  2. joyce

    this is one thing that irks me as well. we also like to eat late, so we end up eating at the bar, because they are open. Funny how the dining room shuts down but there is still a bustling bar menu…hmmmmm. The solution is to seek out those places where the kitchen is open until 11-12pm. They are few and far between. We have found a few here in suburbia, funny thing is all the bartenders know our names!

  3. ellen Horowitz

    Honey, you must not have realized that they weren’t handing you YOUR keys…back to the seventies….don’t you watch Swingtown????

  4. Paula

    That happens alot in Norwalk. I’ve been out with the girls many times where they’ve dimmed the lights, cleaned up everything but our wine glasses, and basically made it blatantly obvious they wanted us to leave.

    My favorite though was 5 of us eating in a sushi restaurant in one of the private rooms. It was almost 11, and the restaurant manager slid open the door and announced “We’re closed – get out”.

    Haven’t been back there since.

  5. OMG, Paula. Your story could win for sure.

    Ellen, very funny. Thinking my parents were not big key swappers in the ’70s. Yours?

    Joyce, I think we have eaten more meals together at bars than tables.

    Liz, this table? You have know Idea how dangerous

  6. ellen Horowitz

    They told you they were playing bridge!!! HAH!

  7. laurie

    This past summer we attended hubbies high school reunion in the small town where he grew up in the southern tier of NY. There were at least 100+ people still mingling and enjoying themselves in the restaurant and bar. About 10:45 the lights over the restaurant area adjacent to the bar were turned down. 10:55 the lights were turned down in the bar area. 11 PM the few “lamps” that were located behind the bar were turned off. Picture this…100+ people trying to exit the place in the dark! The only light available was from the street lamps outside.

    Bad business decision on their part. The crowd moved down the street to the local watering hole where it was packed to capacity. Anyone passing by would surely want to know why there was a parade at 11 PM on a Saturday night!

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